Around 45,000 small and micro companies will pass their staging dates between April and December 2015, while in 2016 and 2017 more than half a million will stage each year.
However, the study by the state-backed pension provider found that 83% of small and micro employers still do not have a workplace scheme set up.
Less than one-fifth (18%) say they understand what the reforms will mean for their business in practical terms, despite 91% of small employers and 85% of micro employers claiming that they're aware of the reforms.
The businesses surveyed were asked whether they are planning to seek advice ahead of their staging dates:
- 74% said they will get support from an intermediary
- of those, 59% said they will go to an accountant for advice
- 70% of employers with 4 members of staff or less will talk to an accountant.
Tim Jones, chief executive of the NEST, said:
"Until now, auto-enrolment has just not added up for accountants - the duties so far have only fallen on large employers that typically may not have turned to accountants for pension advice.
Make sure you are aware of your staging date and make sure you take action in plenty of time. If you are unsure how to proceed, contact us and we can help you find the right partner.
Exclusivity clauses in zero-hours contracts (ZHCs) will be banned under the Small Business Bill, the Department for Business (BIS) has confirmed in a response to a consultation on this issue. However, the ban will not apply to contracts that guarantee a weekly income above a certain threshold or a basic pay rate of £20 or more per hour. Secondary legislation will be introduced to deal with employers who breach the ban and to provide for employee compensation.
The consultation response is available in full at: